First off, let me tell you that these last few days here in NYC have been wild and nothing like I have ever seen before. I am so grateful for my family and friends who have been reaching out from all over. I feel so blessed and loved. My thoughts and prayers remain with all those who are still struggling with Hurricane Sandy’s repercussions.
Personally, my experience with the hurricane started on Monday morning:
Imagine you are sitting on your IKEA pull-out couch in your floor level apartment in Soho in NYC with Sandy only hours away to do all the damage she is going to do. The News are sure to keep you posted only on the most dramatic and havoc racking stuff you can imagine and your parents from Germany are calling you announcing that all of Europe is under the impression that there is no tomorrow for NYC. This anticipatory state of something unknown is the worst.
So, what’s a girl to do? Freak out? Not constructive. Pour herself a drink? Not yet. Boil some eggs in case the power goes out? Maybe. Fill the bathtub with water just in case? Probably. But first, she takes her broom, slips into her gray rubber boots, steps into her tiny backyard full of leaves and starts sweeping; one sweep after another hoping that the drains won’t get totally plugged with leaves as soon as Ms. Sandy dishes out her first few blows.
I have to confess: Cleaning our backyard sucks. Sweeping up wet, dirty leaves while it’s already drizzling REALLY sucks… big time.
I cannot tell you how much resistance and annoyance I felt in the pit of my stomach when I started… then I remembered something I learned last Thursday that I found to be a fabulously entertaining idea and that might just switch my perspective on this Mother Nature imposed job I was engaged in.
Last Thursday, I went to an event put on by Your Bella Life (an amazing online lifestyle magazine that writes on pretty much everything a life-loving girl could wish for, so definitely check it out). Anyway, the event was about empowering women to heal themselves and let me tell you it was an evening full of valuable information, but also one filled with laughter and funny stories of how the panelists help themselves when they feel down. The story that came to me in this moment of leaf-battling was told by Sarah Jenks (yet another super inspirational woman to check out).
Sarah confessed to having an imaginary twin who leads a super fun life. Whenever Sarah feels stuck, she just thinks about her twin –who happens to be a fabulous French girl named Gisele—and simply does what Gisele would do. Are you thinking what I am thinking? It’s AWESOME, right?!
Ok, so here I am laboring away in my backyard to corner stubborn sticky leaves into one area, annoyed as SH**, when I switched modes and began to develop my own imaginary twin:
She –I cannot decide if she is more of a Zoey or a Heidi—is a master at what I would call some of my own biggest growing edges: patience, present-centeredness, and not feeling rushed all the time. Zo-eidi would hold that broom with pride, calm determination, and a positive zen attitude because she would feel that she is doing her part to prevent her lovely apartment from getting flooded with dirty NYC water. She would also just dive into her present activity without having spiraling thoughts of resistance.
Guess what happened when I allowed myself to be inspired by my imaginary twin?! Yup, you are right. I began to feel much more patient and my resistance eased off. I was also laughing at myself, my grey situation, and my silly yet colorful imagination (Psst, in case you don’t know it yet… humor has magic powers!).
In the last 48 hours this simple question “What would my super patient, calm, and ‘zenned-out’ twin do?” has proved to be incredibly helpful.
Like so many others, my boyfriend and I lost power and phone reception on Monday night and I can tell you that an entirely blacked out NYC neighborhood is way more scary than I envisioned it to be. This made me realize how much comfort I get from light, being able to contact those I love, and the News keeping me posted on how close to our apartment the water had come (thankfully, our place did not get flooded afterall).
Yesterday, we packed our backpacks and walked 87 blocks north, where we are now staying with friends who have electricity. As you may imagine, thoughts of Zo-eidi certainly came in handy right around block 57, 73, and 81… you are almost there… stay with it, breathe, and be grateful… you are so lucky to have such amazing friends...
So, here is to today’s challenge:
Think about moments in your life when you feel resistance. What are your growing edges of improvement? Maybe, you have to actively remind yourself to have more fun? Or you are like me and you could benefit from more patience and generosity of time? Perhaps you want to be kinder to yourself? Maybe you want to feel more motivated to work out? Or, perhaps you would like to be better at setting boundaries at work? Whatever it is, create you own imaginary twin who rocks all these qualities. Give your twin a name, an age, a look… and next time you feel stuck, allow her/him to role-model what it would look like to have more fun, be more patient, work out more, be kinder to yourself, or have good boundaries. Then, go do exactly that yourself!
The point is to allow your imagination to be playful and support you in any way you need.
As always, I would love to hear what you have to say. In the comments below, let me know what qualities your imaginary twin has.
Before I end today’s post, I am SO excited to share with you that I have completed the creation of my 10-step program Find Your Voice and Speak with It Too. While I am working on the re-vamping of my website and other fun stuff before the proper launch, I wanted to let you know that I do have 3 open slots right now (I coach in person, on skype, and via phone). If you have thought about getting a coach and are interested in what working with me could do for you, email me today and set up a free 20 minute consultation. I would love to talk with you.
Stay safe and warm if you are in the Northeast.